Do The Koch Bros Hate Everything That's Good For America?
I've got a question for you. I find this absolutely fascinating. Susan Crawford who wrote the books The Responsive City and Captive Audience, she's a professor at Harvard Law School and over at Wired magazine she's writing about the case of Louisville, Kentucky, or West Louisville specifically. She writes:
"Not only would West Louisville get a chance at better access for its homes and businesses, but the city could install fiber-controlled traffic signals, create better and cheaper connectivity for public-safety agencies, and ship data around inexpensively to improve its operations."
In other words, West Louisville is looking at doing what Chattanooga did, which is installing a municipal broadband infrastructure - having the city install high-speed fiber cable so that every business, every family, every person, every government office, every library has faster-than-a-greased-pig or pick your metaphor superfast internet capability. She writes:
"In a nutshell, the city would build the infrastructure and lease capacity to private internet-service providers. "We were looking at this as our smart city foundation," Grace Simrall, Louisville's chief of civic innovation, says."
And then a couple of special interest groups came along and started running ads and lobbying against it. Now, one of them, predictably, was the cable trade association in Kentucky. They were saying. "you know, come on, we're the cable trade association, you need to force people to get their internet from us. You know, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, we need to make money here, we need to pay our stockholders their billion dollars in dividends, we need to pay our CEO his multi million dollar salary; he's got another house in Switzerland he wants to buy."
But in addition to the the usual suspects - the cable trade association and their buddies - there was another group that was saying don't have public broadband in Louisville. And this group is called the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. Now, who is the Taxpayers Protection Alliance? For example, they tweeted out:
"Google suspended its fiber efforts in many cities due to cost - now wants Louisville taxpayers to foot the $5.4M bill."
Which is just a complete lie, right? The Louisville deal had nothing to do with Google. Or a lie by by deception, I guess. I am not sure exactly what you would call it. But why did Charles and David Koch who make their money on fossil fuels and Georgia-Pacific and everything else, why do they care that Louisville might be getting public broadband? Do they own a broadband company? Are they planning on buying Comcast or Verizon? Is that what's next? Or do they just like the idea of consolidating the public information space into a small number of very, very, very wealthy hands? I suspect the latter.
Meteor Blades who wrote this piece, the subhead for the photograph of the Koch brothers says:
"The Koch Brothers ought to call their operations The Wrecking Crew"
Susan Crawford said:
"The public benefits of jumping on the KentuckyWired offer would be substantial"
Right, you know, high-speed Internet is good for business. This is the freeway of the modern era. I mean, this is important stuff and the Koch brothers want it not to happen. What is it, anything that's good for America, they're opposed to? You know, if it's good for America in general and not just exclusively for the billionaire class?
Is that what it's come down to?
What do you think?